Edmonton, AB — The National Police Federation today released an updated list of 92 municipalities and other organizations from across Alberta that have signed a Call to Action, originally sent to the Government of Alberta in late June, which has seen a 30 percent growth since Justice Minister Tyler Shandro doubled down in early August by indicating that the Alberta Government intends to continue considering whether or not to proceed with an expensive and unpopular proposal to create a new provincial police service.
The Call to Action is a growing group of stakeholders that support keeping the RCMP in Alberta that champion investing in long-underfunded critical services within the province, and who feel that many important questions about this proposal remain unanswered by the Government of Alberta.
Against the backdrop of the Government of Alberta launching a website titled the Future of Policing in Alberta, that attempts to show Albertans what the future of provincial policing may look like under their proposed Alberta Provincial Police Service, we released fresh research conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights showing, yet again, that the majority of Albertans do not want a new provincial police service.
It’s not just everyday Albertans who are expressing real concerns and opposition to this proposal. The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) expressed their opposition earlier this year, and recently followed up to say that they had continuing concerns with how effectively the deployment model will address the RMA’s main policing priorities related to municipal costs, rural service levels, and local input into policing.
They are joined by Alberta Municipalities (ABMunis), who recently released an analysis of the proposed APPS as part of their response, highlighting in particular that they had previously expressed concerns with the province’s failure to engage meaningfully with municipalities throughout the APPS transition study, despite the province’s assurances and promises that this would happen.
And in early September, they echoed their objection and called for a public safety task force to clearly discuss how to improve public safety throughout the province.
The Call to Action recommends that taxpayer-funded resources be better allocated to 1) improve current policing services to reduce response times and address rural crime, 2) improve funding to much needed social services programs to address root causes of crime, and 3) increase supports to improve the efficacy and efficiency of the criminal justice system.
A copy of the Call to Action and complete list of signatory municipalities and organizations is available here: Call to Action to the Government of Alberta
“Through our extensive and province-wide consultations and discussions, Albertans have been clear that they support the RCMP in Alberta, who are working tirelessly to keep their communities safe. Making a decision of this kind – rooted in political grandstanding and without speaking to the people and groups that would be most impacted – is careless, disrespectful, and myopic.”
- Kevin Halwa, Director, Prairie Region, National Police Federation
“We feel the RCMP do an excellent job! They attend our council meeting and give quarterly incident updates. They readily comply when we ask for things such as extra patrols. Very professional and approachable. There is no need for them to be replaced by a provincial police force.”
- Jim Bryson, Mayor, Town of Irricana
“On behalf of the Village of Paradise Valley, I would like to commend the RCMP for their dedication and hard work. While one could come up with numerous valid arguments for keeping the RCMP in Alberta, perhaps the one that should carry the most weight is simply that it blatantly ignores the will of the people.”
- Mary Arnold, Mayor, Paradise Valley
“Clearwater County, through its fire services and peace officer program, work closely in partnership with the RCMP for day to day first response and through many joint initiatives like the long weekend taskforce. They provide coordinated multi-agency enforcement to educate users on traffic safety, the safe use of OHVs, respect for the land, responsible camping, fire safety, and garbage disposal. Initiatives like this help to keep our community viable and safe.
The RCMP have a long-trusted history of providing quality law enforcement that is consistently applied across Canada, their presence reinforces the community connection piece throughout the country. Clearwater County Council supports keeping Alberta RCMP members because of the personal connection and accountability to the local community.”
- Daryl Lougheed, Reeve, Clearwater County
“Small rural communities are paying more than they ever have for policing. There has been no confirmation to date that these costs will not go even higher with the conversion to an Alberta Police Service. Rural municipalities need to know the true cost of the conversion process.”
- David McRae, Mayor, Redwater